12 June 2023

Ronaldo bigs up Saudi Arabia pro league as more big names arrive

12 June 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo has praised the Saudi Arabia Pro League after Newcastle United's PIF acquired a 75% stake in Al Ahli, Al Nassr, Al Hilal, and Al Ittihad. N'Golo Kante and Karim Benzema are set to join Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia, boosting the league's profile. Despite missing out on Lionel Messi, the league continues to attract top players. Ronaldo expressed confidence that the league will become one of the most important globally, though signing high-profile players in their prime remains a challenge.

The Premier League's dramatic conclusion saw early predictions for the 2023/24 season emerge, with Leicester City, Leeds United, and Southampton relegated, while Burnley, Sheffield United, and Luton Town earned promotion. Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers are optimistic for progress under Unai Emery and Julen Lopetegui, while Newcastle United and Brighton & Hove Albion aim to strengthen their top six positions. Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur aspire to climb the table. Sky Bet provides odds for the relegation battle, mid-table, European contention, and title challenge in the upcoming season.

Former Newcastle United footballer Andy Carroll has launched a property management company, 3 Property North East, after a challenging season at Reading, which saw the club relegated from the Championship. The venture, co-founded with two colleagues, focuses on property investments, management, and broker sourcing in the North East. Despite a disappointing season with Reading, Carroll managed to score nine goals and has vowed to help the team return to the Championship next year. Meanwhile, the striker's new property venture highlights the potential for growth in the North East's property market in the coming years.

The 2022-23 Premier League season showcased its physically demanding nature, with teams and players pushing their limits. Consequently, there were numerous disciplinary actions, including 1,353 yellow cards and 30 red cards. The team with the most cards received 88 in total. So, which teams can be considered the 'dirtiest' in the division? By ranking clubs based on 'points' (one for a yellow, three for a red via a second yellow, and five for a straight red), the dirtiest sides have been identified using data from Transfermarkt.

The Scottish football season has concluded, and attention now turns to the summer transfer window. Rangers are reportedly planning an £8m double transfer for Serie A players Sam Lammers and Cyriel Dessers. Meanwhile, Celtic are unlikely to make any moves until a new head coach is appointed. Former Celtic forward Moussa Dembele, now a free agent, is attracting interest from clubs like Everton, Aston Villa, and West Ham United.

Rangers are making progress on a deal to sign former Chelsea academy defender Jonathan Panzo, who shares connections with manager Michael Beale. The versatile player previously played for Monaco and returned to England joining Forest in 2022. Meanwhile, former Celtic defender Ramon Vega believes Kyogo Furuhashi could thrive at Tottenham Hotspur, comparing his abilities to Celtic legend Henrik Larsson. Furuhashi has become a firm favourite since joining Celtic, scoring 54 goals and providing 10 assists in all competitions, and his potential move to Tottenham could be influenced by ex-Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou.

Finnish entrepreneur Thomas Zilliacus has withdrawn his interest in buying Manchester United, stating that the club's price no longer makes sense as an investment. Instead, he has shifted his focus to other football clubs. Currently, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani remain the only two public bidders for Manchester United, with Ratcliffe aiming for a 70% stake and Sheikh Jassim looking to buy out the Glazers entirely. Meanwhile, Zilliacus has addressed rumours linking him to Inter Milan but acknowledged the club's owner is not looking to sell at this time.

Newcastle United are eyeing a move for French international and Nice centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo. The 23-year-old has become a standout defender in Ligue 1 since permanently joining Nice from Barcelona in 2021. Although Nice had an unremarkable season, Todibo's performance attracted interest from clubs across Europe and earned him a call-up to the France squad. Despite being under contract until 2027, reports suggest Nice may let Todibo leave, with potential suitors including Newcastle, Liverpool, AC Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain. A transfer fee of around £25 million has been proposed for the promising defender.

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